It’s summer and it’s lovely weather…and we are in still in lockdown in the UK. The Veggie and I and little Willow are lucky at the moment to be in the English countryside with family, which gives Willow a little garden to play in rather than the confines of our little flat in London.

The Veggie and I have been working remotely for more than two months now, and the thing we are amazed about is what we actually spend on our grocery bills. We have been thinking about it and we realised we probably didn’t realise how much the food shop actually costs (as we did our own thing at work for lunches whether packed or bought) and Willow had her meals at nursery.

We currently do two online shops a week, one Ocado and one from our local farm shop. We have been so careful on how we receive our food as well following the UK guidelines of quarantining our food and wearing gloves to receive our food items.

What we have have started to do is to menu plan for the week and start bulk freezing meals. We have been finding with both of us working and with the Veggie’s mum helping out with Willow, we are often exhausted on work days to even think about meals. Anyone who knows the Veggie is that he’s a bit of a food purist – in that he likes meals made from scratch where possible and he likes zero waste. We have also found that by using up leftovers in a creative way, it makes our meals “less boring”.

Here are some ideas we have discovered that are super helpful with making things a little easier during the work week.

Top weekday meal tips to make your life easier during lockdown

  1. Stir frys are your best friend. If you have a rice cooker as well, it is even speedier – turn on your rice cooker, have some kind of marinade to hand (I use soya sauce and mirin in equal portions to what is needed e.g 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon mirin), some sort of protein (meat/seafood/veggie option), stir fry vegetable packet from the supermarket and you can create a meal in 20 minutes max from start to finish,
  2. Cook a curry for dinner and use the leftover curry on jacket potatoes. We discovered this was the best way to use up leftover curry and it is often surprising that the curry tastes better the next day. We are a little indulgent and have lately been adding my homemade sour cream on top of our jacket potatoes as well. If you want to be even more organised, you can also make a larger portion of curry and batch freeze some.
  3. Buy a larger piece of salmon than normal and then use the leftover salmon to make fish cakes the next day.

I know I should probably put photos up of these food ideas but alas I was not as organised as I should have been (realities of work-life juggle). Instead here is a picture of us on a country walk. Hope you find these ideas helpful 🙂

A walk in the countryside

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Willow turned one recently! I can’t believe our little girl is growing up so fast. One of the things I wanted to do was to bake her an American style funfetti cake which I’ve been a little obsessed with following Christina Tosi’s famous Milk Bar birthday cake and of course my favourite blogger Molly Yeh’s sprinkle cake.

Willow had a special 1 month Chinese birthday party called a “Full Moon” and in my haze of being a new mum I was determined to bake a cake for the occasion. I made a delicious Hummingbird Bakery red velvet traybake which tasted delicious but let’s just say the presentation could have been a little prettier.

With her first birthday, it meant a lot that I made the effort to bake her something nicer, something that I could build a tradition on. And in that moment of thought, I made a decision that for every birthday until she turns 18, I’m going to bake Willow some form of funfetti cake as my little ritual to celebrate the special day with her.

And here is my funfetti birthday cake for Willow. A mini tiered cake for her actual first birthday and a funfetti naked cake for her birthday party the next day. I based my recipe on the Tasty recipe but used the Hummingbird Bakery cake recipe for the cream cheese icing.

I know you won’t remember this cake at all Willow but I hope in years to come you will be as obsessed about funfetti cakes as your mum.

Willow’s 1st birthday cake – funfetti naked cake
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First day back at work and the veggie as daddy day care..we made it..

So it’s been a long time since I’ve posted something on the blog. Since my last post, I’ve had a baby, renovated our flat and after a 7 month maternity leave, I am back at work. The veggie is now at home looking after the little monster aka as baby Willow as we have shared our parental leave. What we have found about meals….you have to be prepared as there is never enough time like it was pre-baby. I found what is useful is actually to prepare meals the day before. The veggie finds preparing food in a slow cooker in the morning for the evening meal helps. We are also on the fun journey on baby led weaning and will share some of our recipes on here. It’s not easy juggling baby food, non-veggie and veggie meals all at the same time. One thing we have learnt – keep things simple.

 

 

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